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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Week Nine Playoff Picture and Draft Position

Ezra Shaw

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have soared over the past four weeks. They've gone 3-1, with their only loss coming in a heartbreaker against New Orleans as the Bucs surrendered a 21-7 lead, losing 35-28 in the end. Due to that surge, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are currently sitting just half a game out of playoff position: with a 4-4 record, the Bucs trail the 5-4 Seattle Seahawks by just a game.

The Bucs are fighting the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings for a Wild Card spot, as the division is out of their reach with Atlanta holding a four-game lead. The good news is that the Bucs actually hold one crucial tiebreaker: they've beaten the Minnesota Vikings head-to-head. The really bad news is that they have the worst conference record out of all the Wild Card contenders, and that is the go-to tiebreaker if there have been no head-to-head games.

This means that the Bucs must not let the playoff race come down to tiebreakers. At 4-4, they're in position to make a run at the playoffs, but they must win most of their remaining games to get in.That's actually not that hard, as the Bucs have a fairly easy schedule remaining. The only really tough matchups will be the two games against the Atlanta Falcons, and one against the Denver Broncos.

However, if the Bucs drop those games while winning every other game, they'll end up with a 9-7 record. That record will undoubtedly be beaten by one of the strong NFC wild card contenders, or at the very least tied - and the Bucs will lose most tiebreakers.

Of course, the fact that the Bucs are just out of playoff position means their draft position isn't great. If the draft were held today, the Bucs would draft 16th, missing out on most of the top talent in the draft.